Agape: In Search of Universal Love
from the novel, The Lodging for the Rose
Rolf. A. F. Witzsche

Story 4 - Self-Love.
page 20


      She replied with the same warm smile that she gave me in the auditorium, saying that a long time ago she found herself in the exact opposite situation. She had come to America as a tourist. She had read stories about the wide open hospitality of the American people. So there she was, in Florida, traveling with a tour group that had stopped at a hummock in the Everglades, hoping for her prince to step out of the crowd of tourists. People had come there from all over America.
      "And?" I asked.
      "Nothing happened. Nothing at all. Nothing of that sort happened that day, nor the day after, nor on any other day," she replied. Strangely, she said this with a smile.
      "That must have been a lonely holiday for you," I said, "but it is all history now, right?"
      "No it wasn't a lonely holiday at all, it became a beautiful holiday," she replied with a grin now. "It became a revelation."
      As we were seated with our coffee at a table for two by the window, she continued her story. "So, there I stood at the end of a path near a lookout overlooking the Everglades, a perfect spot for romance, but there was no prince. No one had sought me out. No one was there to love me. No one was there at all, except me and myself. Then, suddenly something clicked in my head. 'Why not love yourself?' a voice kept saying to me from within. And did I have an answer ready. 'Self-love is more opaque than a solid body,' I said to myself and turned that suggestion away. I had read this in a book. I really believed it, too, which of course is true for the kind of self-love that manifests itself as greed, possessiveness, dominance, arrogance, and so forth. But at that moment I also realized that self-love can have a second meaning on a higher level, where it can mean the opposite. Can you understand what I am saying?"
      "I suppose, you looked in a mirror and fell in love with yourself," I said jokingly. "I certainly would have, if I were you."
      "That's exactly what happened, except the mirror was in my mind. I looked at myself through that mirror and realized that I am a lovely, intelligent, sentient human being, capable of a great deal of joy and humor, and also love, endowed with the capacity for rich and interesting experiences. I realized right there and then, that I simply didn't need to wish for anyone else to be with me. I felt complete in myself. I began to take note of myself and to love what I saw. At the end of the bus ride that day, in a town called Flamingo, I treated my new found friend to a fine steak and shrimp dinner, and I appreciated the gesture all at the same time. After supper, we went for a boat ride together through the Ten Thousand Islands of the lower Everglades, just me and my newfound self. We were sitting right up on the front of the boat. And you know, that became a most wonderful trip to end a wonderful day."
      "That's an incredible story," I said, and I meant it. "You didn't talk to yourself, though, I hope."
      "Of course not. The dialog was all mental. But then, we are always in a dialog with ourselves when we think about anything. No doubt, you had quite an interesting dialog going on with yourself when you treated yourself to that beautiful sexual experience you had in the auditorium earlier, during the concert."
      I blushed.
      "Don't worry my friend," she said and smiled. "Remember, I am the champion when it comes to treating oneself! But be honest, was it a beautiful experience?"
      I nodded and said "thank you," quietly. "Thank you for giving me the opportunity."
      "No thanks are needed," she replied. "I felt enriched by it as much as you were, just by knowing that I am not the only freak who finds a great peace in embracing oneself. You found in me an echo of that embrace of yourself. Evidently you found no need to go further with this. Am I right?"

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 (c) Copyright 1998 - Rolf Witzsche
Published by Cygni Communications Ltd. North Vancouver, Canada